We’ve had a challenging
couple few several weeks.
Stop. Reverse. Let’s try that again.
Life has been filled with insane challenges since the middle of September. In fact, there have been so many nearly daily challenges so far outside the realm of my normal life that were I to list them here, I would come across like those Facebook complainers. I know you know who I mean.
So let’s skip the woe is me laundry list and just sum it up with this:
That bottom button on the snowman? That’s not coal. That’s cat poop.
He’s a talented little bastard, isn’t he? And that pretty much sums up the kinds of surprises we’ve been experiencing in our home for a few weeks.
Trying to see beyond the crazy, I declared the light at the end of the tunnel to be the week before Christmas and made a paper chain counting down to vacation. With the holidays almost here, I headed into yesterday all set to clean the house to prepare for the arrival of my in-laws, get snacks ready for my son’s fantasy football end of season party, and finally start holiday shopping with my daughter. I started the day at my daughter’s ballet class, peacefully listening to classical music and reading a book. I came home and sat down at the piano to practice for the evening’s church service. Life was looking up.
And then I heard my husband yelling from the basement.
When I got down to the bottom of the steps, I saw that the floor was flooded. In fact, I could hear the water still pouring into our home, splashing like water filling a tub, as I ripped off my socks and rolled up my jeans. The water was coming from the place where the water pipe enters the house, which, by the way, is before the emergency shut-off valve. I began wet vac’ing the inch deep water that filled 2/3 of the 1400 square foot space while my husband pushed water towards the gasping sump pump with a broom. He called the water company – two hours or so, they said (they never showed up). He began calling plumbers – two hours or so (they did eventually show up). But we were drowning. Literally.
So I did what people seem to do these days. I put out an SOS on Facebook and asked my daughter to wait at the front door in case someone showed up.
And like the bat signal of the 21st century, a neighbor saw my post and rushed to our rescue with two much larger wet vacs and additional man power. For two hours we vac’ed and swept and moved as much as we could to the dry part of the basement. That meant carrying an air hockey table, ferrying shelf after shelf full of books, and sliding an ungodly heavy, solid wood sectional couch from 1983 from one side of the basement to the other, one awkward square piece at a time. A mattress, box springs, an armoire, piece after piece managed to make their way to safety, and as we worked, I chatted with my Facebook savior instead of doing what I would have done alone. Cried. Collapsed under the weight of the elderly cat and the itchy boob biopsy and the impending house guests and the…all of it.
I keep seeing articles and hearing experts talk about how we’re all so isolated and alone and depressed because of social media. I want to acknowledge their merit, consider their truth. Except that because of the convenience of Facebook I get to enjoy my friend Andrea and her husband singing and playing the uke even though they live two states away. And I get to check in on my newborn niece even though I can’t see her again until Christmas.
And when other neighbors around me couldn’t possibly know about the chaos and panic occurring in my basement, one neighbor did and came to our rescue the best she could, which most importantly was just being there.
So rather than tell you all the shitty parts of the last several weeks (yes, pun intended), I wanted to tell you that great story. Because when life gives you cat pee, you’ve got to find the silver lining, even if that’s just a friend in a flood.